Monday, July 14, 2008

Short Takes on What is Going on

An Interesting Partnership . . . An interesting agenda for tomorrow night's meeting of the Raytown Board of Aldermen was emailed to me this morning. The high point of the document is the final touches on an agreement transferring property from the School District to the City so that a new Walmart can be constructed on 350 Highway. The largest paragraph and certainly the most clearly written is that section which assures the School District that their money will be delivered whether or not the Walmart deal goes through. I will leave it to the reader to understand exactly how to interperet the message. We frequently hear about the School District and the City "partnering" on projects in Raytown. Our leaders need to realize that partners are supposed to share in everything -- that includes the risks. Guess it doesn't work that way in Raytown. New Recycling Center Up and Running . . . On a more upbeat note over 300 Raytowners took advantage of Raytown's new Recycling Center on the Fourth of July weekend. I stopped by to check it out and was impressed. The lot is secure. Entry and exit is a breeze. The numbers from the old center were down a little, but the Public Works employee working the location told me it was probably because of the holiday weekend. Still, early Sunday afternoon the plastic and alumium/metal containers were nearly filled to capacity. The winner in this situation is truly the taxpayers. Where the old location used to cost the city to operate -- this new location and a change in recycling haulers -- assures the city will make money on the project. Who knows? Some of that money may find its way back into a workable plan for curbside recycling in Raytown. Look for the Center to be open the first and third weekends of each month (that's next Saturday, July 19th and Sunday, July 20th this month). Pride is Evident in our Neighborhoods . . . Raytown often receives more than its share of abuse. As with all things there is a tendency to pile on when a community is down. But the real strength in a community continues to shine through despite adversity. This weekend I took some time to peddle around our town on my trusty bicycle -- after all, my annual pilgrimage to Iowa for the Ragbrai is coming soon, and it never hurts to put a few hours in the saddle before the big ride. But what struck me was the care and pride I saw in our city's neighborhoods. The carefully manicured lawns, lush flower beds, and the many individual projects taken on by homeowners to make their home a small piece of paradise of their own design. That, my friends, is where Raytown's real strength and character is most evident.

25 comments:

Greg Walters said...

There were a lot of interesting posts about the desirability of Walmart from last week's contributors.

What makes Raytown's deal unique is how deep it digs into the city's pockets to make it go.

Certainly, tax abatements and tifs are a reality of our time. But the city went to far when it backed the Walmart deal with sales tax dollars that were promised to be used on street repair.

What is worse is that IF the project does not pan out and bring in the targeted amount of sales tax dollars, City Hall is obligated to make up the difference from city's general revenue funds.

Andy Whiteman said...

The Walmart TIF should have been worded so that Walmart is responsible to the city for any loss caused by default. Where was the person who was City Attorney AT THAT TIME? Note the words "AT THAT TIME" since we have a new City Attorney.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I went by Raytown HS tonight. There was a large pile of dirt in front of the school with tall weeds growing from the dirt!

The non-quality school district may be exempt for codes, but this is a disgrace! How many vehicles a day pass this location and form an opinion about Raytown?

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I wonder if people actually understand the Wal-Mart deal given
by this city? I don't claim to understand it but as I here it,
the building and parking lot will actually cost Wal-Mart nothing.
It will be our tax dollars building it for them. Plus if they don't collect
enough tax from the sales, Raytown will have to foot the bill from
the general funds. Which, by the way is your tax dollars.
As I understand it the citizens of Raytown are in a round about way,
thanks to our elected officials, giving a three hundred billion dollar a year company, aid.
I don't believe in calling people names but I can sure think of a few
choice names for the elected officials that did this asinine deal.
I think it would be appropriate to erect a nice brass sign on the site
with all the elected official's names that approved this deal. Along with the then, City Administrator's name, can't leave that guy out. After all
they have cost the taxpayers of Raytown millions of dollars.

I know, I'm a negative thinking S.O.B. so I'm asking for a little help here. If I'm wrong in any of what I have written here, please straighten me out.

Anonymous said...

Greg,

You are right about our neighborhoods most of us do care about our property and take the time to keep it maintained. The problem is those who do not care about their property or their neighbors to keep it maintained. As you have been told many times the real problem is the Codes Dept. and their lack of doing their jobs. It is also the problem of the judge who allows the complaints to be continued over and over again. When a complaint is turned in they already have 10 days even be for they are given a citation to go to court and then it is 2-3 months before their court date so why is there more continuances given over and over again? What is the point of calling in a complaint if nothing happens for months and maybe never? I could take you to many places that need to be reported but as we all no it would be useless to do so. I was just told yesterday that a friend had turned in a property in May and hear it is the middle of July and it still has never been cleaned up. This is why people get up set with the city.

My question to you is what can be done with both of those Depts.? I would really like to know if these problems can be fixed?

Andy Whiteman said...

Pat, from reading and hearing business news, it is apparent that is how Walmart makes their money along with allegations of unfair/illegal labor practices. The idea is to get someone (namely the taxpayers) to provide the resources at no cost. Wouldn't any business make more profit if they didn't have to pay for the land or building?

The Walmart on Hillcrest had a KCPD mini station which gave the Police a presence and the officers a place to write reports. Raytown should have asked for an on site mini Police station. With the high cost of gas, officers could be dispatched from that location as well as City Hall to save the cost of gas from patrolling.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I too have noticed that Public Water District #2 is charging too much for it's water. Wonder if this has anything to do with all the high salaries that they are paying at the top. I believe that they are also furnished trucks to drive. Also I understand that they have consultants that are being paid for doing little or no work. Why should they be living so high when the rest of us are suffering?

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 7:56 PM, I think KCMO, Raytown Water Co, and WD #2 all charge too much. Of course I don't know the cost of doing business, but it seems that water costs less in the desert, and here we are by rivers and low elevation where wells can be drilled easier than in the desert.

I know Raytown Water Co. has to have its rates approved by the PUC. I don't know if a Water District's rates are controlled. You might check with the PUC.

I suggest you direct your inquiry to Angela Curry at the Red Star or to the Watch Dog. Maybe you can get the Watch Dog to bite!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was in the yard talking with one of my neighbors and a code truck went by and my neighbor remarked there is a good for nothing department. We have dogs and cats running without tags and it does no good to call as they never show up and if they do they do NOTHING!!! Here is another example of OUR TAX DOLLARS at work or should I say not working. At $4.09 a gallon for gas and all they do is drive around and do nothing pretty sad. Come on Mr. Mayor do something make these people work for their money they get paid. I suppose if we had another important issue come up like pot belly pigs we would jump right on that. By the way if you have one of these beast can you teether in the front yard if you watch it and does it have to be on a leash if you take it for a walk? These are important issues for the mayor and board of alderman to consider. Just shows the crap they do up in the BIG HOUSE and important issues just don't get taken care of. And on the subject of Wal Mart maybe Larry Edwards, Mrs. Ertle and Whiteman would like to make up some of the tax money Raytown will be loosing as they wanted this store so much and how much good it was going to do for Raytown. May I suggest each of you buy a gun, get a Big dog and hire your selves a body guard because you are going to need it when this damn store opens all of the getto will be here shopping at Wal mart and your house.

Anonymous said...

Raytown has already become the inner city. Sad, sad day when they voted to bring another Walmart here.

Anonymous said...

Wal Mart sucks! We do not patronize this anti-worker, labor unfriendly employer and encourage other working families to do the same. There are plenty of other decent companies out there to patronize instead, just not in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about the last election the city had to elect a mayor. I was thinking of all the things the mayor elect David Bower said he would do. Bring the city,chamber and school together Not done.From what I know the Chamber has droped its membership in half and taken away the Raytown Round Up Days. Tear down the old FBC not done,got money in Feb. Bring more business to Raytown, not done instead they are leaving,going to use each person who was running for mayor in his adminstration NOT DONE (maybe because they would put him to shame as they all know more about running a city than he does) codes was going to be a working department, well they are working alright at doing nothing,and bring back downtown Raytown about all the progress I see is the pocket park and as much as I hate to say it it was Ole Foul Mouth Al that did that. So Mr. Mayor let's hear from you. What's your excuse for ALL the broken promises. About all you hve is a silver tounge tell them what they(the public) wants to hear and do nothing.

Anonymous said...

You know you are right. What has Bower done? Most people would think "Do Nothing Frank" was still in charge.

Anonymous said...

Hey maybe we're better off. Look at another Republican head of state, Little Georgie Porgie and all he's done! By doing nothing, at least Bower hasn't gotten up into war with Rusking Heights!

Andy Whiteman said...

I think all politicians make statements about what they WANT to accomplish. Those are their goals. They can't perform magic and accomplish everything. They depend on others to follow through.

Take the President for example. He/she can't accomplish one thing unless authorized by Congress.

I don't believe any campaign promises from anyone. I look at them merely as goals.

I am glad Round Up Days are gone, They were a nuisance and rounded up criminals from around the metro. I was glad to see it at Aquila. It blocked downtown traffic when it was DT. It should be held on a large parking lot and kept away from residential areas and blocking streets. The vacant drive-in theatre now a flea market would be a good place to hold it. The nuisance wouldn't bother anyone there!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Guess you missed Bush starting a war without Congress, huh, Mr. Whiteman?

Pat Casady said...

As easy as it is to blame Mayor Bower for all Raytown's
problems don't forget or we shouldn't forget what and who he is working with. He is working with people that can't or don't comprehend what is important and costly to the community.
They will debate for weeks on recycling and not even question
giving away a large part of the town's income for twenty three years.
They vote to give a huge multi billion dollar corporation financial aid and
R.E.A.P. has to beg for financial help and the OK to build their new building.
I'm not even going to get started on how many times they have been
snowed by developers and the money lost with them.

I'm not defending Mayor Bower but most of Raytown's problems started
before he was elected and I don't think we can expect him to fix
eight to twelve years of things being done badly in a couple of years.

The fact is, if Raytown doesn't get a fresh new bunch of elected officials that will think more of the people and not believe everything big business
promises, without question, it won't matter who is mayor.

I just hope when they finally do have the groundbreaking for the new
Wal-Mart, it isn't the first shovel of dirt that will bury this town and it's existing businesses, but I fear it will be.

Anonymous said...

Pat, I agree that Mayor Bower inherited a hugh mess left over from Frank and Wenson's 8 years of terror on the city of Raytown. But, I guess the true test for Bower is his leadership skills and his ability to turn this mess around. So far I haven't seen him make any of the desperately needed personnel changes that you and I both know need to be made. Every day that these people are allowed to stay the bigger the mess gets for Raytown. Seen any new businesses opening up lately? See lots of closings though. And look at all the houses that are for sale, many of them already vacant. Doesn't look good for first time buyers anymore. Also the cost of sewer and water are getting ridiculous. Time to step up Mayor Bower, you've got less than 3 years left on your term.

Andy Whiteman said...

Come on now, I have seen new businesses. There are 2 coffee shops. True one closed and was bought out by a new person so it is still there. There is a tint shop and also a gourmet liquor store which is why the BOA had am emergency situation to allow 30 liquor licenses. There is also a bar replacing Western BBQ. (At least it is not vacant so is really a new business.) True we all would like to see more new businesses, but this a start. Also there MAY be a Walmart if you count that.

Water rates are not set by the City so complain to the water company. Water rates are not ridiculous. They are OUTRAGEOUS!

Mayor Bower has good leadership skills but he cannot lead a person to common sense if someone has no common sense. At least he can lead a meeting. Meetings now stay on focus and under his leadership BOA meetings are about 1/2 as long which pleases both Red Dogg and me.

There is a big difference between leadership and control. A good mayor cannot control the board but a mayor without leadership skills the city can go backwards. Some of you seem to be looking for control. That is why I call this the Fascist Fief of Raytown. There is already too much control here.

As for personnel changes, 2 upper management have resigned and one interim upper management has resigned. Mr. Frazier left over pay and benefit issues. I don't blame him. I would too. As for the other two, I only know the reasons stated to the public. Personnel issues are discussed in closed session for good reason, but I noticed there was dissatisfaction with those who left either voiced in this blog or by a member of the public during public comment at the BOA meeting.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Sewer and water bills are way too high here in Raytown. Ask any of your friends and family that live in Lee's Summit and you will find that we are getting ripped off here in Raytown. Maybe District #2 overhead is too high compared to Lee's Summit, because I'm sure that the water is coming from the same place. Just giving us all a little more incentive to move away. Sell now while you still can get a decent offer.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 8:47 PM, You sound like a Realtor wanting to list homes. I would like to move away only if I can find a suitable house. Find the house for me and I will move about a year after I buy the new house. It will take me that long to pack.

PS. I will not be moving over water and sewer rates. It will because of unfit climate for human habitation, as well as outrageous natural gas and electric rates.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous...July 17, 2008 11:07 AM who said;

"Hey maybe we're better off. Look at another Republican head of state, Little Georgie Porgie and all he's done! By doing nothing, at least Bower hasn't
gotten up into war with Rusking Heights!"

Anonymous; YOU are an idiot, plain and simple!!!

Anonymous said...

The same can be said of SOME members of the BOA!

Anonymous said...

Boy, now we know what strings to pull to get you riled up!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous July 17, 2008 9:36 PM who said;
"Guess you missed Bush starting a war without Congress, huh, Mr. Whiteman?"

I would guess Anonymous that you probably don't have a clue about much. You are wrong, the war we are engaged in (fighting terrorist) on foreign soil was all authorized by Congress or none of it could ever have happened….they hold the purse strings stupid!